1. One of Julia Gillard’s final acts during her time as Prime Minister was signing off on cabinet approval to add the ‘abortion drug’ RU486 to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. This will decrease the cost of the drug from approximately $800 to as little as $12 for people with concession cards and $70 for others.
Speaking yesterday, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said, “It means women who previously would need to travel to a capital city may be able to have a termination closer to home … This is about giving women more options at a very difficult time.”
2. Nigella Lawson and husband Charles Saatchi’s ‘dispute’ – an incident of domestic violence captured by paparazzi when Saatchi was seen grabbing Lawson by the neck during a fight at a restaurant – was reportedly over a legal issue with two of the family’s former personal assistants. Francesca Grillo, 34, and Lisa Grillo, 32, allegedly misappropriated money from the family and spent it on luxury goods. However, Lawson had considered the former assistants confidantes and was upset that Saatchi wanted to sue them.
3. The latest Galaxy Poll reveals Kevin Rudd is the preferred Prime Minister over Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Fifty one per cent of respondents said they would prefer Kevin Rudd to run the country, as opposed to Tony Abbott’s 34 per cent. But on a two-party preferred basis, the Coalition continues to lead the Labor Party 51 per cent to 49 per cent.
4. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced his new cabinet this morning. Rudd loyalists during the internal contest with Julia Gillard, have been richly rewarded. Rudd has also elevated three new women to the Cabinet, making it the largest representation of women in a Federal Cabinet ever.
Key promotions have included Mark Butler to the critical Climate Change portfolio, Anthony Albanese takes on Communications in addition to his other responsibilities and Tony Burke to the troublesome Immigration portfolio.
5. The parents of Reeva Steenkamp – Barry and June Steenkamp – have given their first interview about Oscar Pistorious to The Daily Mail. The couple has had to defend their decision to sue Pistorious – an act that has inspired widespread condemnation in South Africa.